How A Coroner’s Office Can Assist In Determining Homicides

How A Coroner’s Office Can Assist In Determining Homicides

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: a knock on the door and news that someone close to you has died. You discover that the coroner’s office has been called into action—what does that mean? Across the United States, when a death is sudden, violent, accidental, medically unattended, or simply unexplained, a medical examiner or coroner’s office will be tasked with investigating the death to uncover its true cause. If a personal homicide is suspected, law enforcement will also launch their criminal investigation. 

As this early evolution unfolds, survivors of a homicide can feel lost at sea—but there are anchors to be found. Today, we are going to look at the role of the coroner’s office in determining personal homicides and what options remain for family and friends after the coroner’s ruling has been given. Hopefully, this information will help you find calm waters in a moment of need.

Death Investigations and Determining Homicides

Roughly 20% of the 2.4 million deaths in the US each year are investigated by coroners and medical examiners. This means that their presence doesn’t necessarily indicate that a homicide has occurred, but when a homicide is suspected or confirmed, their presence is guaranteed. Alongside determining the manner of death and medical reason or cause, the coroner’s office will often also take on other duties such as notifying the next of kin of the deceased.

To determine the facts of the case, the coroner’s office will investigate the scene, gathering and documenting evidence and taking photographs, before arranging the removal of the body. An external examination will take place, and if deemed necessary, an autopsy will be performed by a forensic pathologist. Bodily tissues or liquids may be sent to a laboratory for toxicology or histology analysis. 

Once all factors have been assessed, a coroner’s ruling will be made on the basis of their findings. In all but open-and-closed cases of homicide, the investigative process will only just be beginning. However, the coroner’s office will certify the manner of death in a death certificate that will then be made available to the family. Their role in the case will usually be closed within 14-21 days, although when toxicology results are required or microscopic examination undertaken, the process may take longer.

What Survivors Can Do Following the Coroner’s Ruling

If the coroner concludes a personal homicide, law enforcement agencies will take the case from there. However, what happens if those left behind feel unsatisfied with the coroner’s ruling, or even with the way that the police are pursuing the case? At these times, a private investigator seasoned in personal homicide investigations can be enlisted to dig deeper into the facts, find answers faster, or rediscover leads that have been allowed to grow cold. 

For anyone bereaved under the circumstance of homicide—whether suspected or known—unanswered questions can become a heavy weight to carry. Unlike the coroner’s office, a medical examiner, or a police investigator, whose loyalty is to the state and the letter of the law, a private investigator’s role is to serve their client in uncovering all and any relevant truths so that loved ones can finally lay their concerns to rest.

Private investigators from Lauth International Investigations work closely with the families of victims in order to deliver the facts that they often so desperately seek. We draw on more than 30 years experience in solving missing person cases, collaborating with law enforcement, and bringing criminals to justice. Each of our unsolved homicide investigators is armed with a skillset that facilitates evidence gathering, geosocial surveillance, licence-permitted database access, crime scene analysis, witness reexamination, digital forensics, and much more. 
We will draw upon every resource in our toolkit to reveal the realities of your loved one’s death so that you can pursue necessary justice and claim personal closure. To learn more about how a private investigator can assist in a potential or confirmed personal homicide case—whether long-after or even before the coroner’s ruling is issued—connect with our dedicated team today. No commitment is required on your part, and we are ready to advise on how we can assist.

How to Conduct Personal Investigations With the Assistance of a Recommended Private Investigator

How to Conduct Personal Investigations With the Assistance of a Recommended Private Investigator

There are a broad range of personal investigations that might warrant the assistance of a skilled private investigator. From missing persons through to private thefts or even cheating spouses, suspicions lead trusted PIs to head out into the field every day to discreetly and diligently gather the facts. 

Whatever the nature of the private investigations called for, two things are certain. The first is that the chosen investigator should be selected on the basis of their credentials. The second is that there isn’t a moment to lose. Time is of the essence, so let’s explore exactly what you need to know in order to kick-start a process that will lead to results.

Don’t Wait to take Action 

Whether there’s a threat made to your person or property, or you suspect wrongdoing has already taken place, the sooner you set personal investigations in motion, the less likely it will be that vital clues or witnesses vanish and physical or digital trails go cold. 

Happily, a reputable and recommended private investigations firm will be happy to provide commitment-free insight into things like whether action should be taken immediately and if you should contact law enforcement. As experts in navigating the full-spectrum of issues that private persons may be faced with, they will be able to highlight the best possible course, before guiding you on things like evidence preservation and contingency steps.

Choosing the Right Private Investigator

A solid recommendation from someone you know you can trust is a great place to start when selecting your collaborator, but don’t hesitate to confirm the credentials of any private investigations firm that you aim to contract. They should be able to demonstrate their track records and confirm their licencing without hesitation.

Opting for a large, long established firm is also a safer strategy than hiring a solo PI or a firm that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Beyond anything else, the critical licensure of your investigatory team will be what grants them access to the same databases used by law enforcement, so this is not an area in which to cut corners.

A Reputable Private Investigator Will Guide You Every Step of the Way

During your initial personal investigations consultation, the contracting PI will walk you through gathering all of the background information they need to get started and developing a working plan of attack. From there, they will be able to begin conducting any necessary surveillance or covert operations, gathering documented evidence and things like CCTV footage, conducting interviews, and building a body of data that will allow you to take action accordingly.

Once a conclusion has been drawn in your private investigations, you will be able to decide what remedial actions are necessary. At this juncture, a seasoned private investigator will be able to liaise with your legal council, respective authorities, and law enforcement on your behalf. They can also advise on how you can mitigate similar threats in the future.

Ultimately, the expertise of a reputable private investigator is a high-caliber resource that can be harnessed to protect your best interests in a diversity of different ways. If you’d like to learn more about how the Personal and Private Client Services provided by Lauth Investigations International, we are always happy to advise. With more than 30 years experience and more than 10,000 cases solved and solutions found, we have just the expertise you need for total peace of mind. Get in touch today.

Workplace Investigations: Where to Turn To for Quality Advice

Workplace Investigations: Where to Turn To for Quality Advice

internal investigations

Strong practices for internal investigations offer vital security both for and within any organization. Employees can feel confident that they will be fully supported if they need a corporate investigator in their corner, and the company itself can deftly tread paths that might otherwise be legally perilous. 

That all sounds great—certainly—but where should a business turn to when aiming to establish those best practices in the first place? Today, we’re going to dive into the vital considerations when building a workplace investigations strategy that will serve you well today and in the years to come. Read on, and wrap your mind around all the major need-to-knows.

The Vital Nature of Neutrality

Whether seeking simply to consult on internal investigations or aiming to place a delicate matter in the hands of a seasoned corporate investigator, the importance of neutrality can’t be overstated. If choosing who will lead an internal investigation or contacting someone from central HR within your company for advice, it is critical to assess whether their contribution can be truly viewed as impartial. 

If there are personal connections to those being investigated, witnesses, or victims in the case of workplace harassment or discrimination, this may become a lead weight around the neck of the investigation if it ever leads to litigation. Neutral oversight is essential of the investigation is to be considered airtight, so if in doubt, reach out to an external corporate investigations specialist for necessary support as a legal safeguard.

Seeking Out the Right Skillset

A misstep in internal investigations can leave a company open to accusations of retaliation and the potential of an unfair dismissal lawsuit. This means that advice taken when planning your investigatory tactics should come from those truly in the know, and crucially, be rooted in more than mere opinion. An appropriate consulting advisor or corporate investigator will be able to fully grasp workplace policies and frame them within the context of applicable laws and legal obligations. Don’t forget that they may also require the skills to audit financials conduct computer forensics.

The Availability to Take Action

Launching internal investigations without someone at the helm who can handle the complexity and sensitivity of the complaint at hand is a dangerous move, but so too is waiting for a senior HR professional to have time in their schedule to take on the task. Delays in launching internal investigations can lead to leaks to the press and even occupational health and safety complaints. When a matter is serious in nature, bringing in a corporate investigator who can take action immediately is the only logical choice.

Prioritizing Appropriate Seniority

When a workplace complaint is made against a senior individual within the team, the prospect of impartial internal investigations becomes slim at best. It is a a simple reality that it’s highly unlikely someone unconnected to that individual, with no vested interest in the outcome, and within a position that is superior to those under investigation can be called upon. In contrast, an external corporate investigator will be unaffected by the high rank of the parties under investigation and will be able to lend neutral authority to the conclusions drawn.

Do you need expert guidance for workplace investigations or a corporate investigator ready to jump on the task at hand? Call upon the dedicated corporate team at Lauth Investigations International. We will safeguard your organization’s integrity while getting to the truth of the matter. Reach out to our team today and learn more about how we can assist.

Rise in Insurance Investigations Will Create Need for Third Party Investigators

Rise in Insurance Investigations Will Create Need for Third Party Investigators

The principle function of an insurance investigation is to verify all facts within a claim that is believed to be false or inflated. In addition to diligent fact-finding and comprehensive cross-referencing, insurance investigations also require a fierce independence and objectivity in pursuit of the unvarnished truth. The investigator for the job must not only have diverse experience in insurance claims, but must also be a third-party with no stake in the outcome of the investigation. As insurance claims continue to be on the rise the demand for these third-party insurance investigators will only continue to grow.

The most recent study from Global Insurance Investigations Market by AMA Research has predicted an uptick in insurance investigations between now and 2027. The market study included millions of datapoints, proving to be a comprehensive tool for industry experts and professionals as they attempt to understand the market trends forming of late. However, the question becomes how will the industry will be able to handle the influx of complex insurance investigations without over-taxing their internal resources and operations?

Third-party insurance investigators are always a safe bet when investigating allegedly inflated or fraudulent cases. They have no allegiance to either the insurance company or the claimant, so their findings will stand up to a higher degree of scrutiny in court. If the findings are challenged in a civil court by the claimant, it will be harder to impeach the findings by claiming some sort of bias in the investigation. Third-party insurance investigators, like private investigators are also autonomous in their work, and can operate without the red tape of internal hierarchy or bureaucracy, meaning investigations can move more swiftly as evidence is gathered, processed, and cross-referenced. Their autonomy means they can go where the case takes them in an expedient manner—they can speak to witnesses and gather evidence that may have otherwise been lost while internal boxes were being checked. At the end, not only will there be comprehensive reports to review by the insurance provider, but there is also an independent witness who can speak to the findings first hand, if necessary.

If your firm is having difficulty fielding the influx of insurance fraud investigations, consider the services of Lauth Investigations International to supplement your investigation needs. We carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and regularly receive glowing testimonials on our accuracy and professionalism from grateful clients. If you want to learn more, you can call 317-951-1100 for a free quote on how we can help you with insurance investigations, or visit us online at

The Importance of Healthy Corporate Culture on Worksites

The Importance of Healthy Corporate Culture on Worksites

Culture might be a buzzword within the corporate world these days, but is it really relevant in the construction industry? In truth, great company culture means much more than having beanbags in the office or going on quarterly team building excursions. Instead, it describes how employees feel about their role, their employers, and their co-workers—and the reality is that the culture of any company dictates how smoothly its operations will go. Just as a building needs a firm foundation, the team driving your construction company does too. It’s time for construction culture to become the new “it” term on the block, because when culture’s in your toolkit, the results will speak for themselves.Why You Should Care About Construction Culture

True talent is hard to come by in the construction industry. So much so that 80% of construction companies have a hard time filling specialist craft positions. If I tell you that 46% of job seekers consider the culture they’d enter an important factor, and 86% will actively avoid companies with a bad reputation, might that grab your attention? Going further, there’s so much more to construction culture than attracting and retaining the talent you need to push your company forwards. Establishing this conceptual grail means unlocking your team’s potential for collaboration, commitment, passion, and high-caliber work. If you’re still not convinced, perhaps the potential 202% increase in performance yielded by this kind of jump in engagement will whet your whistle.

So what makes an outstanding company culture—or more specifically, what would great construction culture look like? Well, there’s no clear cut and singular recipe for success, but common themes include the forging of diverse and inclusive teams that, commitment to worksite and employee safety, strong communication, clear values demonstrated by leadership, an environment that allows individuals to feel heard, and opportunity for employee progression. Hammering that last point home, research reveals that 94% of employees would stay in their current role longer if they saw opportunity for professional development.Forging Iron Clad Construction Culture

We’ve covered the reasons to prioritize culture in your construction company, but before we tackle how to tackle the task, what happens when construction culture is neglected? Time and time again, it is our experience that eroding company culture means a fast track to high turnover, employee theft, malingering, workplace discrimination, white collar crime, and worse. Fraud alone costs construction companies around the world an estimated $860 billion annually. So the chances are, if you don’t take the proactive step of calling in an investigator to course-correct company culture proactively, you’ll likely be calling them later to investigate crimes that are breaking down the business you worked so hard to build up.

So, you’ve got the picture—company culture is just as important an investment for your construction company as the latest machinery or cloud-based work order system. But where do you begin? Well, as is the case for so many things in life, it’s vital to understand where you’re starting from. The best way to get the lay of the land is with an industry-tailored culture audit from Lauth Investigations International
Our specialist investigators will perform a detailed analysis of your construction culture, assessing factors such as communication, shared values, company history, caliber of leadership, marketplace positioning, undetected misconduct, and more. From there, we will provide you with a clear and concise road map to get your culture back on track. If you’re ready for guidance on how to move your team onto firmer footing and realize the rewards that come with prioritizing culture in the construction industry, contact our team today.

Signs of a Home Improvement Scam

Signs of a Home Improvement Scam

Adding value to one’s home is an investment many homeowners hope to make to their property. One of the most common ways to do this is by renovating the interior of the home, the exterior or both. When it comes to vetting contractors for the job, consumers must be vigilant of scammers who hope to make a quick buck off an unsuspecting home owner. That’s why consumers must know the signs of a home improvement scam when they see it.

Signs of a Home Improvement Scam

No one wants to accuse a seemingly hard-working professional of being a theif or a fraud, but caveat emptor dictates that consumers must have a reasonable amount of knowledge in order to vet potential contractors.

The Door Knock

One of the hallmarks of a home improvement scam is that the contractor will cold-knock on doors claiming that they were simply “in the area” and noticed the exterior of your home could use repairs. Reputable contractors to no blindly knock on people’s doors soliciting their services.

Sloppy Seconds

A home improvement scam is usually designed to turn a quick profit, which means low material costs. Scammers will typically tell their marks that they “just happen” to have leftover materials from a previous job. Reputable contractors or builders would order fresh materials to ensure the integrity of their work.

On the Spot

Scammers typically want there to be a quick decision regarding their services. Whether it’s just a handshake or signing on the dotted line, scammers have the disposition of a stereotypical used car salesman.

Cash Only

Scammers want the entire fee to be paid up front before any work is completed, and tend to only accept cash as payment. This is to eliminate possible paper trails that would document their grifting behavior and increase the chance of facing consequences.

Permit Please?

Being a licensed contractor makes it much easier to procure building permits for various jobs. However, when a contractor is unlicensed or uninsured, they may attempt to have the mark procure the licenses—once again to avoid accountability for any wrongdoing that will take place.

I Know a Guy

When a mark does not have the funds that are “required” for a job, a scammer may suggest that you borrow money from a lender they know personally, perhaps with the promise that they can get you a low interest rate, or the “friend rate.”

Tips for Avoiding a Home Improvement Scam

  • When vetting contractors for a home improvement job, make sure your list of candidates is comprised only of licensed and insured contractors. You can verify a contractor’s license through your state or county government, and ask that any candidate provide proof of insurance.
  • Begin building a list of potential contractors by asking your friends and neighbors for recommendations. As long as the reference comes from a source you know and trust who has utilized that contractor’s services, the proof should be in the pudding, so to speak.
  • You can also find a list of reputable contractors from your local Home Builders Association or an equivalent for your area to see if there have been any formal complaints filed against any one contractor. You can check online reviews, their Google rating, and even check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Get multiple estimates from multiple candidates. Legitimate estimates should include the description of the work requested, materials required, a completion date, and of course a price. Though it may be tempting, going with the cheapest estimate is not always the best option. If you observe huge disparities between estimates, ask the contractor in question.
  • Read all contracts and legally binding documents carefully. Not all contracts will be the same state to state and you must make sure you read any documents in totality before signing. Make sure the contract includes
    • Contractor information: name, address, phone number, license number.
    • Estimated state and completion date
    • Detailed notes on the spoken terms of the agreement when consulting with the contractor.
    • A written statement of your right to cancel within three business days.
  • Never pay the full amount for the completed project up front.